Posted by: yachtcrewsing | August 28, 2011

The Newport Bucket Cancelled

   It would seem that the world of yachting all too often adheres to the maxim espoused by the poet Robert Burns, being that the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. This could not ring more true than the events of Tuesday and the proceeding days.

   Firstly, on Tuesday morning our captain received a call from the shipyard in Connecticut stating that they had gone bankrupt. This meant that the 3 month yard period we had planned to undertake could no longer occur in that location. Further, it entailed that the dozens of contractors (marble polishers, carpenters, carpet cleaners, silverware services, gold plating experts, upholsterers…) who had been painstakingly pre-arranged all had to be canceled. The house that we had rented for 3 months had to be cancelled, with the additional inconvenience of necessitating a lawyer deal with the irate landlord. Courses had to be cancelled. Friends and family of crew flying in to New York had to be informed of the alteration in plans. Within a few hours of pandemonium this had all been accomplished, and our captain had secured a place in the Newport Shipyard to accommodate the yacht for the majority of work needing to be undertaken.

   A mere few hours after this significant upset in plans, the news came through about a tropical storm brewing, gathering momentum and threatening to chart a path straight through Newport. This, we were told, could potentially necessitate the cancelling of the Newport Bucket Regatta. As we learned the next day, Hurricane Irene was bent on destroying the plans for this superyacht race, and the organizers of the event were forced to officially cancel the weekend event. Unfortunately this news was not certain until late on Wednesday, only after most of our race crew (and that of many other boats) had flown in. Upon receiving the message that the race would not be happening, in true race crew style their immediate concern was: “but we are still all going out for dinner and drinks tonight, right?”

   Thus, despite the disappointing setbacks, we made the most of the time we had. The Wednesday and Thursday evening dinners, already booked and paid for, were attended by all those who had made the journey to Newport. On Thursday we went out for a little trip around Newport harbor and watched Velsheda and Ranger race, two incredible J-Class replicas of the America’s Cup yachts popularized in the 1930s. All was not lost, but sadly months of preparation, hard work and anticipation by so many people was compromised.

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